From the perspective of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Refreshments, a consumer’s need state—rather than a traditional decision-tree process—guides his or her beverage choice, says Clint McKinney, group director, category advisory and space strategy. Needs states range across several factors, including occasion, brand, package size and price point, he says, and consumer needs are continuing to change.
“Before considering preferred product attributes, it is essential to understand shoppers and their missions,” says McKinney. Coca-Cola’s iShop Study considered stock-up, fill-in non-food, fill-in food/beverage, grab-and-go home, grab-and-go and need-it-now missions.
“Among its many findings, it revealed that one of every two trips to a convenience retailer is made to satisfy a grab-and-go occasion,” he says. “This highlights that today’s consumers are time-strapped and desire convenient solutions to help simplify their lives.
“Retailers can drive all of this by better understanding their own customers,” McKinney continues. “Point-of-sale displays, food bundles, cold-vault signage, points of inspiration and more drive targeted merchandising and execution based on specific consumer needs.
“They need to make sure they have the right product in the right package, at the right price point, and for the right occasion.”